Roll Formed or Structural Steel Pallet Racking

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Pallet racking is available in two basic types according to the type of steel used. Roll formed racking is produced with lighter gauge cold rolled steel whereas structural racking is produced with heavier gauge hot rolled steel.

Roll Formed or Structural Steel Pallet Racking

Roll Formed Racking

Roll formed racking is the predominant type of racking in the market. Roll formed components primarily derive their strength and load bearing capacity from their shape. A roll formed end frame post starts as a coil of cold steel that is unwound and fed through a punch and a series of rollers that gradually shape the steel into its final tube-like form. Bends in the post create a structural design that allows the post to bear substantial downward loads.

While the light gauge steel can be formed into high load bearing shapes, it can also easily be damaged, greatly compromising the load bearing capacity. For this reason, damaged roll formed racking components must be replaced.

Structural Steel Pallet Racking

Structural Steel Racking

Structural steel racking is made when hot steel is formed into structural steel channels at the foundry. Rack manufacturers then cut, punch, drill, and weld channel sections together to form frames, beams, and other components. Structural steel racking components are thicker and heavier than roll formed, inherently provide greater load bearing capacity, and are far more resistant to damages than thinner roll formed racking. When structural racking is damaged, it can generally be repaired.

Beam Connections

With roll formed racking, the beams typically interconnect to the frames mechanically and are secured in place with a safety pin that prevents the beam from being lifted out of its connection. In a structural racking system, the beam connectors are secured to the frames with bolts. These design differences make roll formed racking easier and faster to install or reconfigure, however the bolted connections provided with structural racking are more secure and rigid.

Factors to ConsiderRoll FormedStructural
 Initial InvestmentLess More
 Impact ResistanceLess More
 CapacityLess More
 Maintenance & RepairMore Less
 FlexibilityMore Less
 Best forStandard ApplicationsHigh Traffic, Heavy Loads, Harsh Environments, High Density Systems

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